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Skin PG-13

A dark-skinned girl born to white South African parents attempts to explore her identity in the era of apartheid.

Starring:
Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill
Runtime:
1 hour, 46 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Anthony Fabian
Starring Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill
Supporting actors Alice Krige, Tony Kgoroge, Ella Ramangwane, Terri Ann Eckstein, Bongani Masondo, Dan Robbertse, Jeremy Crutchley, Jonathan Taylor, Nomathamsanga Baleka, Valesika Smith, Faniswa Yisa, Hannes Brummer, Zamanthebe Sithebe, Onida Cowan, Leana Truitsman, Lauren Das Neves, Jacques Gombault, Danny Keogh
Studio First Look Studios
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

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By The Movie Man VINE VOICE on February 16, 2011
Format: DVD
"Skin" is the story of Sandra Laing (Sophie Okonedo), born black in the 1950's to white Afrikaners unaware of their black ancestry. Her parents, rural shopkeepers Abraham (Sam Neill) and Sannie (Alice Krige) who serve the local black community, lovingly raise her as their "white" little girl. Still, at the age of ten, facing prejudice from her community due to her dark skin and African features, Sandra is driven out of her society. The film follows Sandra's 30-year odyssey from rejection to acceptance, betrayal to reconciliation, as she struggles to define her place in a changing world against countless obstacles.

Ms. Okonedo plays Sandra not as a symbol of black struggle in apartheid-era South Africa but as a determined woman attempting to discover her true self. As a mature woman and mother, her Sandra still looks to heal psychological wounds inflicted on her as a child. South Africa's Population Registration Act of 1950 required people to be identified, defined, classified, and separated by color, but in Sandra's home town, folks were less intolerant.

O'Neill's Abraham is sympathetic as he attempts to have the law changed so Sandra can be classified by heritage rather than appearance, but also reveals himself to have deep-seated racism.

Bonus extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes, outtakes, and script development workshops.
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Format: DVD
Drama set mainly during the Apartheid-era in South Africa telling the story of Sandra Laing (played by Sophie Okonedo), a young Afrikanner woman who although having white biological parents by a genetic fluke is born black and the problems that this causes her in the society in which she lives. A stirring performance largely by Sophie Okonedo (who plays Sandra Laing from about the age of 17) as we follow Sandra Laing's life over a period of about 30 years; from when she is about 10 to 12 years old and experiences severe racism from staff and pupils at the boarding school she is attending because she is seen as black (the 10 to 12 year old Laing is played by another actress, not Okonedo); through the landmark court case that her parents fight in which she is officially classed as white; through her disownment at about the age of 17 by her parents when she falls for and elopes with a young black man who works for her father; through her decision to be reclassified as black because she feels rejected by Afrikanner society; through times of severe hardship such as when the Afrikanner establishment bulldozes her home because the government has decreed that the settlement in which she lives is now in a `whites-only' area; through seeing her husband and father of her two children over time become a violent drunk who at least once violently assaults her, leading her to leave him and fend for her two children on her own as a black single mother in apartheid-era south Africa; and finally through the pain that Laing carries over a period of about 20 years because she is estranged from her parents and wishes to be reunited with them again (especially her mother).Read more ›
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Format: DVD
On the recommendation of some Nigerian friends, my wife and I grabbed a copy of "Skin" and sat down for a Saturday evening movie. We expected good things, but we were bowled over by the deep questions and emotion in this film, based upon the true story of Sandra Laing growing up in South Africa during the time of apartheid.

Sandra looks black. Which means she cannot be in a relationship with a white or even shop in the same store as the whites. But here parents are both white, and her mother swears that she has never been unfaithful. As Sandra heads to school, the color of her skin becomes an issue for students and parents, not to mention a heartless school master. Sandra's father vows to fight for her, and indeed the question of Sandra's identity is taken to the supreme court, where they judgment decades ago was based solely on appearance. Sandra is classified "black," but later, when genetics and heritage became the standard, her classification is changed to "white."

The problem is that Sandra now finds herself in love with a black man. Her father is outraged and goes to extremes to stop the relationship. Her mother seems to be on her side, but then turns against her, stuck between an angry, violent husband and their grown daughter. Sandra is forced to make choices, more than once, that deal with heritage, color, identity, and family. Does love cross these lines? Does love erase these lines?

In the end, "Skin" is a powerful movie, told with honesty, grace, hardship, and a cast of fantastic actors. The emotions range from humor to horror to sorrow to muted joy. It is a story that reminds us not only of the injustice of apartheid and racism, but of what it means to be human. I highly recommend it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this movie for our Friday night family movie night. We could have never expected the impact it would have on us as a family. It is so gripping, on several occasions throughout the movie we had to pause the movie and grasp what was taking place and discuss it. The irony of the film is powerful, in Apartheid South Africa a white family is forced to deal with racism in a way that hits home literally, and up close and personally affects their family. We came away from this movie as a family by praying for Sandra Laing, because at the end the DVD shows you the real life Sandra and where she is today and how she is doing. This is a life-changing must see! Simple Truth Too: Understanding the Bible In Everyday Life Simple Truth Catch A Falling Star
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